Wine that Connects Cultures, from Asia to America and Beyond

Making a great wine is an orchestration of art and science, passion and hard work. ShunYi Cellars caught my attention recently, which started with the Founder’s personal story of wine discovery that inspired his mission to craft quality wines showcasing premium Californian terroir to bridge cultures and share values.

ShunYi’s inaugural wines in their vineyards.

Meaning of Shun Yi

Emperor Shun, highly regarded for his wisdom and integrity, is said to come from the city of Jinan in Shandong Provence, where Founder George Zhang was born. Residents of Jinan are known as “Shun Yi” – descendants of Shun. Interestingly, Shandong is also home to multiple UNESCO sites, the birthplace of Confucius, and a hub for Buddhist and Taoist scholars.

Founder George Zhang

Masterminds behind ShunYi

George developed a passion for wine especially while managing Credit Risk for a major bank in Napa, where he gained deep knowledge of wine business operations and a strong network. He partnered with esteemed winemaker Byron Kosuge, a Davis native with 30 years of winemaking experience, known for his premium Pinot Noir finesse, to start ShunYi in summer 2019. As of today, ShunYi is already working on their second harvest featuring St. Helena, while preparing to release their inaugural 2019 vintage in early 2021, a very small production of Santa Lucia Mountains Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Winemaker Byron Kosuge

Wine with a Heart

Each bottle tells a personal story which may also resonate with many. The wines are ingeniously named, the Pinot Noir, “Chong Feng” 重逢 , to reunite, and the Chardonnay, “Xiang Si” 相思, a deep sentiment of thinking about loved ones. George’s father was a scholar in California during George’s childhood in China, before his family moved over. George still remembers reuniting with his father at the train station when he returned from his studies. Having lived in California for over half his life now, George still feels deep sentiment for loved ones around the world. The beauty of wine is sharing it as a gift of love and are even when apart, as we have experienced especially since the pandemic.

Artist painted calligraphy against Chinese abstract painting, and the ShunYi logo.

Tradition meets Modern

The unique artistry of the bottles struck me: I have never seen a wine label with Chinese calligraphy against an elegant Chinese painting background – a touch of tradition meets modern, east meets west. The ShunYi logo is embossed at the metal capsule of every bottle.

Santa Lucia Pinot Noir that go into ShunYi bottles

What’s next? California wine + Chinese food pairing

Although ShunYi is not officially on the market, they are actively sharing their winemaking journey on social media, and I have joined their mailing list. ShunYi also plans to partner with select fine Chinese restaurants. How does Chinese food pair with wine? More than sweet and sour pork, Chinese cuisine encompasses a diversity of regional cuisines. George recently enjoyed a rich Peking Duck with luscious Pinot Noir, for instance. Pinot Noir, especially from cooler climates with less tannins and bright acidity, pairs well with fattier pork and duck, or even fried foods. A crisp, less oaky Chardonnay pairs well with stir fries like fried rice, noodles, moo shu pork, or even dim sum. Try it for yourself!   

Peking duck pairs well with Pinot Noir.

Toast to an Eclectic Mix of Live Music this Summer with Robert Hall Virtual Concert Series!

Paso Robles winery Robert Hall is hosting a virtual music concert series, Robert Hall At Home Sessions, live-streaming indie musicians directly from their homes starting this Wednesday July 22. After each concert, the audience will have a special chance to peek behind the scenes and learn directly from the artists about their journeys, personal stories and more.

First Up: Roots Rock Duo, Larkin Poe

A different artist will be revealed before each session. This four-session series kicks off with Grammy nominated Larkin Poe, a roots rock sister duo Rebecca and Megan Lovell based in Nashville. Their latest LP, “Self Made Man,” is a tribute to their journey as artists from constant touring to producing their own music. 

Larkin Poe: Jul 22 Concert
Credit: Robert Hall Winery.

“The Good Life. Well Earned”

The chosen artists reflect Founder Robert Hall’s philosophy and the company’s tagline, “The Good Life. Well Earned”: endless dedication to producing the highest quality results, from every bottle to music for all to enjoy. Unwind, sip and enjoy the rest of the summer with great wine, beautiful music, and feel the community spirit virtually!

Four Sessions Starting July 22 at 5pm PST

Robert Hall At Home Sessions is live on Facebook starting July 22 at 5pm PST on the winery’s Facebook page @roberthallwinery. Future Robert Hall At Home Sessions will be streamed on August 5, August 19, and September 2 with new artists announced the week before each show. To receive updates on the line-up and see exclusive interviews with the artists, head to www.roberthallwinery.com/At-Home-Sessions